As a young boy, White Plains native Matthew “Matt” White liked going to Wagon Wheel in White Plains. He ate there often with his late grandparents, J.B. and Martha Taylor. He still remembers how much the family greeted and fellowshipped with neighbors as they sat and enjoyed their meals.

On Dec. 2, White reopened the restaurant that closed in 2013 at the decision of the previous owner. White hopes to create the atmosphere he remembers.

“My cousins and I would often bring Grandmother to eat at Wagon Wheel even after Grandfather died in 1991,” White said. “She liked it.”

Back then, the restaurant served fried catfish only on Friday nights, and White remembers how people packed the dining room. Wisely, he is serving catfish on the menu every night.

After purchasing the restaurant, White started extensive renovations on April 25, the day he signed the contract. He finished renovations at 1 a.m. on Dec. 2, the day it opened.

“I did all the remodeling myself,” White said. “I ran out of money twice, but God sent a couple of people that helped me finish.”

White worked for 25 years as a plumber and said being a restaurateur is harder. Fortunately, he has always liked to cook for his family. He has three daughters, Ericka, 25, Hanna, 21, and Maddison, age 9. Knowing about good food helped him get a start.

“I Googled recipes,” he said. “Then I put the word out that I needed cooks, and now I have three.”

White often helps the cooks by doing prep work in the kitchen, and sometimes he stands behind the stove to cook.

He is glad to have opened the restaurant during December so he can work out the kinks before the normally busier month of January. Business is already keeping the staff busy, though; and they are serving an average of 45-50 customers a day.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and supper on every day of the week except for Mondays. On Tuesdays through Thursdays, Wagon Wheel is open from 7 a.m – 8 p.m. Friday hours are 7 a.m. – 9 p.m, Saturday hours from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday hours are 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. The address is 8922 Alabama 9. Phone number is 256-770-4401.

Prices for breakfast range from $3.99 for biscuits and gravy to $9.25 for an omelet breakfast made of meat, three add-ins, and toast. Sandwich plates range from $8.75 for a hamburger to $9.25 for a bacon cheeseburger. Wagon Wheel has salads, other sandwiches, appetizers, and platters.

White looks forward to seeing friends and neighbors at the new Wagon Wheel.

Email Sherry at sherrykug@hotmail.com